AN: This is my first attempt at Angelverse fanfic. I admit, I'm rather proud of it, myself.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, Mutant Enemy, and the rest do. No copyright infringement is intended, I'm just taking them to the park to play for a bit.

Warnings: Slash! This means that the characters are thinking about and/or involved in same-sex relationships. If you don't like that, then shoo, please.


Wesley wrapped his hand around a dense clump of weeds near the ground, pulling them out of the damp soil. He held them up, looking over the tangled network of roots curiously before knocking as much spare dirt from them as he could. He tossed the weeds into a pile behind him and moved to another clump. He'd just watered, so the soil was easily manipulated, and the air around him was heady with the scent of life.

Though he'd never readily admit it, Wes loved gardening. He liked the smell of the cool, damp earth, and the way dirt fit so haphazardly beneath his immaculate fingernails. He liked the sense of completion he felt when he was finished, the way everything looked, so neat and orderly and alive. And when he was all done, he liked slipping out of his dirty clothes and stepping into the shower, watching all evidence of his endeavors trickling down the drain.

When Angel Investigations had moved into the Hyperion, there had been nothing in the small garden but dry dirt and yellowed weeds. Wesley had taken it upon himself to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, and with his next paycheck he'd gone to the local branch of Barnes & Noble, carefully selecting several books on the subject. While there he also picked up the newest Tom Wolfe novel, and a small guide to the mechanics of gay sex. From that day on, working a garden and sex were very closely associated in his mind. He'd remember a tip on fertilizing azaleas, which would lead to the memory of the blushing clerk who had bagged his books that day, which would lead to his research into the intricacies of the male body back in college, and that invariably led to him considering what Angel tasted like.

Wes sat back on his heels and wiped a light sheen of sweat from his upper lip, leaving behind a small, dusty trail. He was torn between mint and cinnamon, today, though he supposed it probably depended on what part of Angel he tasted. His book maintained that all men were salty all over, and he supposed that Angel himself would say he tasted a little like death. Wes sighed. Salty death with a cinnamon aftertaste, then.

He'd dedicated about a fourth of the small garden to mint, and he kept it up religiously, using it for tea every once in awhile. When he was weeding that quarter, the minty smell was ubiquitous, and it made him think about taking tea with another person. Sometimes, in his mind, he'd try to explain to Angel why he was really alive over a cup, despite the obvious reasons. It was almost like a mathematical proof, and he plotted it out in his mind over and over, until it looked like this:

You are what you eat.
You eat things that live.
Therefore, you are alive.

It made perfect sense when he thought about it, but whenever he attempted to articulate it, even in the privacy of his little garden, things became quite jumbled. It wasn't exactly that he didn't know what to say; more likely it was because he was afraid of sounding ridiculous.

Wes suddenly wondered if he would think about his mint if he made love to Angel, and decided that he only would if Angel really did taste like mint and not like cinnamon. He plucked a leaf off of one of his plants, crushing it lightly between his thumb and forefinger before taking it between his lips. He decided that this was his favorite flavor, now, and that Angel could taste like salty death with a minty aftertaste.

He chewed the pungent leaf between his front teeth for a moment before spitting it out and continuing with his work. His mind was a whirlwind of activity; he pondered the newest case they were working on, and whether or not his lilies needed more sunlight, and imagined that Angel was moaning his name. Silly fantasies, he realized, but they kept the 'forever young' part of his brain occupied as he worked on more important things.

After a bit he sat up, looking up at the fading sunlight and then he dusted his hands off on his pants and stood up. A slight dip in the shadows of the doorway gave him pause, and he cocked his head to the side, realizing that someone was watching him. He stepped forward, his heart skipping a beat when he realized that it was Angel. He was torn between amazing happiness and terrible embarrassment, and decided on a mix between the two, blushing lightly but walking towards the other man slowly.

Angel smiled his hello and nodded towards Wesley's pride and joy. "Wild onions. Used to be one of my favorite foods." Wesley glanced back at the small patch of onions and then back at Angel, smiling.

"My favorite's the mint." There was a moment of comfortable silence between them, each lost in his thoughts. Wes finally took it upon himself to move into the shadows next to Angel and avoid getting his friend burned to a crisp by any chance of misfortune. As he did, Angel reached out and took his hand, an action that surprised Wes into a state of hormonal ooze, and he cursed silently. Angel, if he noticed, didn't mention it.

"I like a man who's not afraid of getting dirt under his fingernails."

Wesley, in his defense, didn't drool when Angel bent to kiss him, nor did he run away like a frightened schoolgirl. He shivered a little when Angel deepened the kiss, and he wasn't sure if Angel tasted like mint because he just did, or because Wesley had eaten some a moment ago. He supposed it really didn't matter anymore, actually, and allowed himself to be kissed thoroughly before stepping back a little.

"I've got dirt under everywhere, Angel..." He smiled and kissed the knuckles of Angel's fingers and walked away, back towards the cool interior of the hotel. A part of him hoped that Angel would follow; another little voice screamed that he needed a shower first.

He'd take either path, and plant the way as best he could.